Youthwords 2018

Watch for details of the 2018 contest here!


2017 Winners

1st Place Poetry

A Forest

by Tristin Anzil


A forest.

Or rather, a beautiful forest.

No, a mystical forest.

Filled with sky high trees

that sparkle in the bright sunlight
glowing through the leaves.

The slight heat on your face

brings a relaxing feeling throughout your
whole body.

Delightful beaming words floating
aimlessly in your mind that describes everything peacefully.

Your imagination can go wild

like the red foxes running and jumping
with joy through the tall bright green grass.

Mysterious sparkling bright golden lights

rising from the ground look like sparks in
a moonlit sky.

Almost like a pen roaming with freedom,

more and more of the forest appears right
in front of your shining beautiful eyes.

Small rainbows arch over the fallen trees.

An owl lets out a loud hoot and retreats
back into its tree.

Dark creepy caves nesting in the rocks.

I think to myself, this is a great place
to hide a body.

1st Place Short Story

The Abeyant Knight

by Meghan Waltenbury


Crash! Everyone in the shop turned their gaze, to a travel-dressed man
standing in the corner, a broken vase at his feet. The broad-shouldered
shopkeeper, came running out of the backroom, his face contorted in anger. “I,
uh, should go…” The adventurer pointed to the door awkwardly, and began walking
towards the exit. The brawny man looked from the vase’s broken pieces, sprawled
across the floor, to the guilty party, who was struggling to leave unnoticed.

“Oi!” the shopkeeper shouted, making his way towards the adventurer, who
was already near the door. He reached out, trying to get a hold of the
maladroit chap, who bolted for the door, barely escaping the large man’s reach.
Right as he made his exit, he threw down a few silver coins, and running down
the cobbled street, he yelled back: “Sorry, I hope it is enough!” The
merchant’s irritated gaze ensued.

few minutes later, the traveller found himself in a quieter part of the city.
He slumped down against a tree, and let out a loud sigh. He chuckled to
himself, pulling a silver chain out of his pocket. “The great fool never even
noticed! This should cover those silver coins I lost.” He thought aloud laughing.

Peeking through the tree’s young spring leaves, the sun shone imperious
and bright from the blue skies above: it’s warm rays raining down upon his
drowsy face. Slouching even closer to the ground, he laid upon a bed of grass;
yawning, he contemplated the idea of an afternoon nap.

Shing! The sound of a sword being drawn from it’s sheath was a little
‘too close’, in the opinion of the sleepy traveller. He opened his eyes to a
sword, held by a tall woman in shining armour, directed straight at his nose:
several guards stood behind her. “Greetings, ‘Rholan’,” she said smirking.

“You are under arrest, by orders of the King, Lord Azemar the II!” The
woman proclaimed severely: “Stand thief! Or be dragged to your feet!” Rholan
stood slowly, his hands up in a sign of surrender. The guards surrounded him,
their weapons drawn: two came up behind, and tied his hands at his back;
shoving him forward, they made their way down the street, and to the palace.

“I don’t understand why the king is bothering with me, especially when
there’s a war to fight!” Rholan grumbled, as they led him up the stairs of the
palace. “Would you shut up!” One of the guards behind him complained,
tightening Rholan’s ropes in spite. “Ow,” Rholan moaned. The woman in armour,
(who appeared to be the captain) sighed in irritation: “Quit your grumbling
thief! We have no need of it!” “Come on then!” The guard behind Rholan said,
shoving him forward again.

They came up on a large, wooden door, which opened at their arrival.
They entered a long, open chamber; banners bearing the kingdom’s coat-of-arms,
(a blue rose) hung from the walls. They stood before a tall throne, upon which
sat a man dressed in rich silks, a crown resting lightly upon his brow, the

The guards brought Rholan before the king, forcing him onto his knees.
“Do you know why you have been brought here, Rholan Almeric?” The king
inquired, setting a pen and paper aside. “No, I do not, your highness,” Rholan
replied. “I wish to ask something of you,” King Azemar told Rholan.

“Ask something of me? So, I’m not under arrest?” Rholan asked eagerly.
The king laughed lightly: “No you are still under arrest, but only for a time.
Take him away,” he ordered the guards. “I will see you in a few days; sleep
well,” he told Rholan smiling. Obeying the king’s words, the guards stood
Rholan up, and led him into the dungeons: they untied his hands, and thrust him
into a cell: “Have a good night, thief!”

Over the next couple of days, Rholan’s imagination was the only company
accessible to him; and the only light he saw, was from a torch at the end of a
long hallway, where the guard sat. A spark fell from the torch, burning a hole
in the guard’s sleeve; Rholan laughed at him mischievously, but ultimately, he
was dying of boredom in that cell.

After about five dreary days, the captain returned. “I hear you’re still
verbose as ever,” she said sourly. “I would hate to disappoint,” he replied,
bowing in acknowledgment: apparently not even a dark, lonely cell, could dampen
Rholan’s loquacious spirit. “Just do as you’re told,” she told him impatiently.
Unlocking the cell door, she let him out; and with two guards grasping his
arms, they left the dungeon.

After he took a bath, and changed his tattered clothes, they brought him
before the king. “Welcome back Rholan; I hope you weren’t too uncomfortable,”
the king greeted him, a smile upon his face. “Damp, dark, quiet, it was nice;
although the service was appalling!” Rholan joked. The captain looked between
the two, incredulous at their joyful manner.

“May I ask what you want of me?” Rholan inquired, getting straight to
the point. “Ah yes, what I want of you…” The king’s smile fading, he asked:
“Have you found it?” Confused, the captain watched Rholan intently. He took a
moment to answer, and staring straight into the king’s eyes, he said: “I never
lost it; I never forgot, my Lord Azemar.”

“I am glad you remember who you are, Sir Almeric… Untie his bonds!”
Azemar ordered the captain. “My lord, you aren’t saying,” the captain started,
but was interrupted by the king: “Yes, he was and still is a knight.” “He is a
thief!” she protested. “He is a knight, and you will treat him as such!” The
captain unwillingly untied Rholan, who knelt on one knee and stated: “It would
be an honour to serve you once again, my king.” Azemar stood over Rholan and
said: “Your strength will be appreciated in the war,” he handed Rholan his
sword, “Sir Almeric, knight of the king!”


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